0 to Z of Playstation 1 Games is a blog looking at the various titles released on the console, looking at what the games are, the gameplay and story, as well as how the game was critically received and the current availability of the game. As well as other projects such as Modern Game Weekly and Gone But not Forgotten.
Baroque is a first person post apocalyptic roguelike
role playing game, developed and published by the Japanese development studio
Sting Inc. The game was released exclusively in Japan on the 28th of
October 1999, the game would however release first on the Sega Saturn in May of
1998. The game would also receive a Major Wave Series (Budget) release on March
8th of 2001, again exclusively in Japan.
Baroque would also receive the remake treatment
in March and June of 2008 with the game fully remade for the WII and
Playstation 2, the game was published by Atlus, with plans for a North American
release of the remake in the works, it released on the 8th of April
Rising Star Games released the remake later that year in Europe, 2012
also saw the game release on IOS. The original game also received a Playstation
Network release for the PSP and Playstation 3 in 2007 with a PS Vita release
coming in 2012, the remake switches the game from a first person perspective to
a third person perspective.
At the beginning of the game the player starts
outside of the tower with no items or experience points, prior to entering the
tower for the first time the player is presented with a weapon called the
Angelic Rifle, a weapon capable of killing any monster with one shot, however
this weapon has only 5 shots.
When entering the Tower the player will be able
to find additional weapons and times such as swords, these items are scattered
randomly around the tower, weapons can also be dropped by defeated enemies,
defeated enemies also provide experience points for the player, gaining points
will allow the player to level up and become stronger.
Portals are used to progress lower and lower in
the tower, eventually death will come to the player, this however does not
cause a game over for the player instead this is used to advance the games main
plot, with new cutscenes and areas in the game world are unlocked, as well as
occasional dialogue from NPC’s, revealing more about the back story and
characters, after certain criteria are met the Tower will expand.
This being a roguelike game there is a risk vs
reward element when getting into fights, should the player fall before reaching
the end of the current dungeon they are in they won’t die, however they will be
transported back outside of the tower, with any equipment they may have
collected gone even any equipment you may have had equipped will be lost as
well as an experience points you may have gained.
If you find a weapon that you really like and
want to keep hold of for later runs through the tower you can thrown them into
a consciousness orb, any weapon or item that is thrown into the orb can be
retrieved later from one of the NPC’s on your next run. At the beginning of the
game the player can store up to 5 items this way, as the player progressed
however this number can be increased when certain conditions are met.
As the player is exploring the tower two gauges
appear on the upper right of the screen these show the players health/hit
points as well as the players vitality, during gameplay the vitality gauge will
continue to decrease, if the gauge reaches zero the players health will begin
to decrease, both the players vitality and health can be restored by eating
various forms of flesh and hearts.
Movement around the tower is done by using the
D-pad or left analogue stick with the L1 and R1 buttons used to sidestep, the
player can select which action to take by pressing the O button, actions can
also be cancelled by using the X button, when not cancelling an action the X
button is also used to bring up the map, the character status can be brought up
using the triangle button
The game is set in after a world changing
cataclysm named the Blaze, the cataclysm took place on the 14th of
May 2032. the player takes on the role of a nameless character suffering from
amnesia, with the player guiding their character through the Neuro Tower, with
the aim to reach the bottom floor of the tower.
Prior to the start of the game the Order of
Malkuth discovered the absolute God had returned to the Earth, they also
discovered the Consciousness Orbs, these gigantic sensory orbs were used by the
Absolute God to compress reality, thee devices were scatted all around the
The Malkuth order wanted to learn more about
the Absolute God, so they experimented with the Orbs, shortly after small and
subtle distortions in reality began to form, and caused people to slowly
change. The first to succumb was the leader of the Malkuth orders sister.
The order led by the Archangel created
artificial consciousness orbs to help stop the spreading distortions however
these false orbs only hastened the distortions. The Archangel then removed the
pain from the Absolute God and poured corrupted data into the Consciousness
Orbs to prevent the Absolute God from fixing the distortions, after which the
Archangel harvested the pain of the Absolute God’s and created the Littles.
Littles are the embodiment of pain and are
creatures that can only exist inside of ampules, they were cultivated by Dr
Angelicus and Longneck for the use with the Angelic Rifle so that Archangel can
purify the Absolute God and take its idea Sephirath and create a new world.
The Koriel are a group of high ranking members
of the Malkuth Order who tried to stop Archangel by trying to make direct
contact with the Absolute God through fusion to hear its will. A member of the
order, the protagonist of the game had a conjoined twin brother, both were near
death and it was decided to sacrifice the older brother. Archangel discovered
the plan of the Koriel were putting into place and confronted them,
interrupting the fusion which in turn caused the Blaze
Critic review for this game are next to
impossible to find with the exception of one from Legendra who rated this RPG
at a very respectable 80. The review praising the crazy mad atmosphere and very
interesting scenario, they also praised the soundtrack for the game which was
composed by Masaharu Iwata, who had previously worked on games like Tactics
Ogre, Final Fantasy Tactics and the Bloody Roar series.
The review also praised the games constantly
present survival effects and the random dungeons. The review did have some
criticism for the game, one of the major issues were the graphics which the
reviewer said they can be a put off. They found the gameplay was not always
accurate and overall they found it difficult to pin down the game.
With the lack of critic reviews we now head
over to GameFAQs for their user ratings, where we find the game sitting at a
very healthy average rating of 3.88/5 from a total of 12 user rating. Taking a
closer look at these ratings we find with the exception of 1 user the game did
not rate lower than a 3/5, with a majority of users giving the game a very good
Moving on to the game difficulty we find a
total of 10 users rating this category, with a large percentage of 70% finding
this roguelike game on the tough side. The remaining 3 users are split 2 to 1
in favour of the game being just right, with the final using finding the game
to be unforgiving, averaging out the game rates as being tough.
Finally we have the game lifespan where we find
just 5 users rating this category, again with a large percentage swing this
time in favour of the game having a 40 hours lifespan. The remaining user spent
even longer with the game spending around 80 hours with it, averaging out the
game clocks in at around a 50 hour lifespan.
This is the part of 0
to Z where is visit four online retailers and see what the availability of the
title is, and what price you would be looking at if you wanted to pick this
title up, the sites that I will be using for this are Amazon.com,
eStarland.com, retrogames.co.uk and Gamedude.com I know the last one is very
location specific, but from a podcast I listen to, I’ve heard they have a huge
stock of older games, Ebay has now been dropped unless the game is unavailable
at other retailers.
So lets get down to
business with Gamedude who don’t stock or even list this title, unsurprising
really with the original version being a Japanese only release, so moving on to Retrogames.co.uk who sadly don’t stock this game either.
Next up is
eStarland.com who also don’t stock the original Playstation version of the
game, they do stock the remake with both the WII and PS2 versions available, as
well as the Sega Saturn version of the original, this is currently out of stock
but has a usual price of between $4.75 and $9.50.
Moving on to
Amazon.com we find no copies of the Playstation version of the game, the Saturn
version is listed as is the PS2 remake, the same goes for the co.uk version of
Amazon. As a last hope we head over to Ebay.com in search of at least one copy
of the game.
After sifting through
countless copies of the PS2 remake version, I have finally found the original
Playstation version of the game. With just 3 copies of the game on the market,
the cheapest a used copy in good condition, complete as well, will set you back
$22 once shipping has been added in.
This is the first of
2 good condition and complete used copies of the game, the second copy is
priced slightly higher coming in at $26. The third and final copy on the market
is only in acceptable condition, with deterioration on the spine card and case.
This copy is fact the most expensive of the three copies on the market, with it
priced up at $43 once shipping costs have been added in.